What is the purpose of PEFC certification?

"PEFC helps to ensure the sustainability and renewal by natural regeneration or by planting, by preserving trees and promoting the diversity of species". It is a label for sustainable forest management, based on the 3 pillars of sustainable development:

  • Socially just
  • Ecologically sound
  • Economically viable

The PEFC certification was created in Paris in 1999 on the initiative of organizations of the forest-wood-paper industry, associations for the protection of nature, consumers and public authorities.

In a few words, a PEFC certified forest or product is the guarantee of:

  • Preserve biodiversity
  • Respect the soil and water
  • Consume products from responsible sources
  • Ensure transparency to the consumer
  • Respect the rights of workers and working conditions


  • 5,663,274 hectares in France and 305,165 hectares in Belgium are PEFC certified Forest management
  • 100% of state forests managed by the ONF in France are PEFC certified
  • France is NĀ°1 worldwide PEFC Chain of Custody with 2074 certificates, followed by Germany (1728) and Spain (1070) |December 2021|


  • 100% of PEFC forest management certifications in France and Belgium are realized by Ecocert Environnement
  • 2.4 million hectares of forests in French Guyana are PEFC certified with Ecocert Environment
  • Since 2015, when Ecocert became the certification body of the PEFC chain of custody, more than 100 clients have been certified by this label.

Find all the key figures here

PEFC is recognized for its 2 certifications

  1. Forest management, whose objective is to guarantee a sustainable management of the forests in the respect of the social, economic and environmental requirements, For example to ensure good working conditions of the participants in forest, prohibition of the use of GMO, conservation of the dead trees to support the biodiversity
  • Chain of custody, whose objective is to guarantee a clear traceability, from the wood of the PEFC certified forest to the marketing of the finished product and this at each stage of transformation. It concerns wood or wood-based products: stationery, furniture, textiles....


Ecocert Group is a forest specialist with more than 20 years of experience in certification and verification of projects in the main forest areas of the world.

Ecocert is accredited for the 2 levels of PEFC certification:

FOR THE PEFC FOREST MANAGEMENT PART: The certification access entities, which represent all forest owners, operators and work companies that adhere to the PEFC approach, and their management system are audited annually by Ecocert Environnement.

FOR THE PEFC CHAIN OF CUSTODY PART: Each company that sells PEFC-labeled products is audited by a certification body such as Ecocert to ensure that the wood or paper raw material comes from sustainably managed forests according to PEFC.


  • The logo ("elliptical" arrow surrounding 2 trees with the initials PEFC
  • The PEFC license number of the brand (PEFCxx-xx-xx)
  • The name of the label
  • The message of the label (e.g. "This product comes from sustainably managed forests, from recycled and controlled sources")
  • The link to the website (www.pefc.org)
  • The frame of the label
  • Each certified company receives a unique PEFC license number to communicate with the logo.

Database of PEFC certified products


According to the COFEPAC economic report (2017), paper and cardboard packaging represents more than a third (39%) of all packaging produced. 2017 COFEPAC economic report

Through the PEFC chain of custody, wood and wood-based products, such as paper/cardboard packaging, are traced throughout the transformation process. This system allows us to guarantee to the consumer products coming from sustainably managed forests.


Forest fibers consume 1/3 of the energy and 1/60 of the water compared to cotton production.

What is the transformation process to obtain a PEFC certified textile (cellulose fibers)?

  • Wood chips: once harvested in a PEFC certified forest, the tree is transformed into small pieces of wood of a few centimeters.
  • Cellulose pulp: the wood chips are softened, washed, bleached and rolled, creating cellulose rolls. The cellulose is passed through a filter and comes out as raw wool.
  • Yarn: The cellulose fibers are then spun into yarn, which is collected in spools.
  • Fabric: the yarn is woven into fabric, ready to be processed.

Each step is PEFC certified (chain of custody) by an independent organization like Ecocert.

NB: There are fibers like Tencel whose production is even less polluting.


The PEFC label is based on 4 fundamental points in line with the requirements sought by the Ecocert group:

  1. RELIABILITY: A certification delivered and audited annually by independent certifying bodies such as ECOCERT Environnement
  2. TRACEABILITY: A guarantee to the consumer that the wood used comes from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources.
  3. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT: Criteria that are revised every 5 years to reflect the challenges of the field.
  4. TERRITORIAL NETWORKING: A presence close to local actors that allows us to respond to environmental issues and to the growing demand for responsible consumption.

Interested in PEFC certification? Contact us to get a quote!

Sources: PEFC France Forest for Fashion

ZOOM ON // PEFC, a label for sustainable forest management
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